Rob Gronkowski has always been known to play through injuries during his time as a New England Patriots player. From forearm fractures to playing with a disc hernia in his back, Gronkowski has proven time and time again that he is indeed an ironman in the NFL.
But this season, against the Los Angeles Rams, Gronk suffered a punctured lung and multiple rib fractures that have kept him out for a good portion of the season.
Will Gronkowski play tonight against the Washington Football Team?
Rob Gronkowski will miss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against Washington in Week 10 as the tight end is nursing a back injury he suffered in Week 8 vs. the New Orleans Saints. Gronkowski's back injury stems from the bruising collision he suffered against the Rams that also caused a punctured lung and rib fractures.
Tom Brady's favorite target came out of the Saints game early and spent most of the game on the sidelines. The Bucs had hoped that Gronkowski might recover sufficiently during the bye week, but that wasn't the case.
The reigning world champions have activated newly signed tight end Darren Fells to the active roster to pair with tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard to help replace the production of Gronkowski.
Gronkowski is set to miss a few weeks
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians spoke on Gronkowski's situation and when the tight end may return to action:
“We think in about two or three weeks, he’ll be back to normal. Gronk is gonna get better, and [we’re] just gonna make sure he’s good when he comes back, We think that next week is a better time frame for him [coming back]. We kinda pushed it with the New Orleans thing. I want him ready to go the whole distance when we’re ready to go.”
It is important to remember that Gronkowski initially retired due to injury concerns. The future Hall of Famer has experienced several problems already this season.
The Bucs will want to play it carefully as they can't afford Gronkowski to break down as the season heads into the final stretch.
Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich preach a "next-man-up" mentality. The Bucs must continue to embrace adversity as they have done throughout this entire season.
A road trip against a valiant defense will likely test the Bucs' offense. Nevertheless, the Bucs are still favorites without Gronkowski. The star tight end will be missed, but the Bucs can win without him as they have for most of this season.
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